For several decades experts from a panoply of disciplines have predicted global disaster: a future in which the basic amenities would not be available to most people; a world where the present disparities between rich and poor nations will continue; a global setting fraught with international violence, nuclear proliferation, ecological degradation, pollution, and increasing indebtedness. Others claim these predictions are "biased, misleading, and sometimes plain wrong;" that such gloomy, pessimistic reports with their dour projections reflect western middle-class perceptions more than a realistic appraisal of global circumstances. But the protagonists concur about one sobering statistic: hundreds of millions of people live in desperately poor societies which are unlikely to improve substantially in the near future. In fact, no one takes serious issue with the view that the world faces enormous difficulties in trying to insure adequate distribution mechanisms for food, shelter, health, and self-respect for all peoples. Disagreement does exist regarding such issues as the magnitude of the problem, what to do about it, and how to predict future needs. Further questions remain unanswered such as what are the consequences of disruptions in labor markets, population growth, alternative investment strategies, ostensible disintegration of life support systems, changing and even forced migration patterns, technological advances, and trading restrictions?